I still consider Jar one of this year's strongest albums, at least in terms of the ones I've listened to extensively. Its blend of raw, 1990s-fueled angst and heavy riffs was undeniable.
This week, No Sleep Records released Headswell, the latest offering from the Long Island-based band Sainthood Reps. I paid attention to their 2011 debut Monoculture, grabbed again by its familiar-yet-new blend of aggressive down-tuned rock (that again reminded me of the 1990s music I hold in such high regard).
As good as Monoculture was, Headswell is even better. The guitars are crunchier, Francesco Montesanto's lead vocals are more effective, and everything just works together even better than it did before. The band's identity stems from that familiar alternative/rock sound, but tosses in some post-rock and atmospheric touches to really get things going.
Here's Desert Song:
I'm having a hard time putting this all into words, for whatever reason - but with Headswell, Sainthood Reps have put themselves into the same category as Daylight and Balance and Composure (whose latest album The Things We Think We're Missing is also one of my top albums of the year thus far).
If you're on Spotify, you can stream all of Headswell with the neat widget below - but go buy a copy of the record from the band, they deserve your money.
--- Cheese Sandwich